MENTAL HEALTH

13 Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants

16 min read
13 Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants

Are natural alternatives to antidepressants can be trusted? The feeling of depression is something that we should not overlook. But sometimes people are hesitant to seek medical advice so they turn to various natural alternatives.

More Reading:

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Table of Contents:

1. Depression is Serious
2. What Exactly are Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants?
3. Are There Any Other Natural Alternatives to Depression?
4. 13 Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants

1. Depression is Serious

Many people want to try some natural alternatives to antidepressants before seeking help from their Doctor, especially men who are notoriously reluctant to seek professional help. The thing with Depression is that it has such a vast scope. It can be a severe medical emergency or a temporary emotional response to something negative in your life. Natural alternatives may be good for people who are on the latter end of the scope.

No matter what your situation may be, make sure you go see your GP, even if you are wanting to try natural alternatives first. Your GP can then monitor your progress and can step in when needed.

Natural alternatives for antidepressants have been used for centuries. And there’s a chance that taking natural antidepressants will help. But results will differ depending on the individual, just like with prescription antidepressants.

13 Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants | Stay At Home Mum

2. What Exactly Are Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants?

Treatment strategies for anxiety and depression that don’t involve medication are available in a variety of forms. Rather than relying on prescription drugs, picking natural antidepressant alternatives might be a better solution. Even if depression isn’t completely cured, it can be greatly reduced by addressing the underlying causes and making other lifestyle changes that promote mental health and wellness.

Make sure you consult with your doctor before taking any supplement. It’s possible that they’ll interact with your medications, and some people may be at risk if they take them. Your physician can assist you in weighing the advantages and disadvantages of a particular treatment option. Making an informed decision is much easier this way.

3. Are There Any Other Natural Alternatives to Depression?

Apart from natural supplements, there is a range of other natural alternatives. When it comes to managing depression and getting better, some people prefer non-pharmacological initiatives instead of turning to medications. Milder forms of depression may benefit from natural treatments and home remedies. Here are some of them:

Exercise

Even though exercise can be the last thing people suffering from depression want to do, it does make a huge difference in how you are feeling. Different types of exercise can relieve stress, calm you down, and even help with depression symptoms. In addition to enhancing your energy, balance, and flexibility, regular exercise can help you lose weight.

Generally speaking, it’s a risk-free, efficient, and convenient way to improve your well-being.

Start slow – walking around the block is a great place to start. As confidence builds, you can start venturing further. Plus get in the water – water is a great way of treating anxiety!

Other gentle exercises to think about include:

  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Gardening
  • Water Aerobics
  • Lunges on the Back Stairs
  • Use a Fitball
13 Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants | Stay At Home Mum

Meditation and Yoga

People who meditate say it puts them in an altered state of consciousness. It can alleviate your depression by allowing you to decompress. Yoga includes breathing techniques and specific body poses as well as meditation. It also has the additional benefit of relieving stress. There is a wide range of routines and overall, this can be good practice for everyone who wants to improve their well-being.

There are some fantastic Meditation and Yoga Podcasts to listen to now.

We recommend the following:

13 Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants | Stay At Home Mum

Massage Therapy

It’s a widely held belief in touch therapies that your physical well-being and emotional well-being are intimately connected. According to the same theory, when you’re relaxed physically and mentally, your body and mind both benefit.

Lying on Fresh Green Grass in the Sunlight

Spending 10 minutes per day lying on the grass out in the sunlight can really help your mental well-being. Some forms of depression are caused by not enough sunlight – especially here in Australia where we try and hide from the sun as much as we can! So don’t do this in the middle of the day if you don’t want a case of sunburn.

Even walking on the grass barefoot can make you feel good about yourself!

13 Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants | Stay At Home Mum

4. 13 Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants that we have rounded up just for you!

St John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort is probably the most well-known natural alternatives to antidepressants on the market today. St John’s Wort is derived from a yellow flower that has been used for centuries in herbal remedies. St. John’s wort may, like some antidepressants, alter how serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are processed in the brain. It is as effective as tricyclic antidepressants in some studies, if not better.

Possible Side Effects of St John’s Wort:

It’s important to know that St. John’s Wort can reduce the effectiveness of many prescription medications, and if used in conjunction with antidepressants, a potentially lethal level of serotonin may build up in the body. You must tell your GP you are taking St John’s Wort before being prescribed any medical antidepressants.

Most popular brands of St John’s Wort:

NusaPure St John’s Wort 1100mg

  • Dosage: 1100mg
  • 180 capusules per bottle
  • Ships from The United States
  • Over 2322 5-star reviews
  • See Stockist

St John’s Wort contains the natural active chemical ‘Hypericin’ which helps to balance brain chemistry – resulting in a gentle uplifting feeling. 100% vegetarian formula that provides 1950mg of Hypericin in every serving.

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5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan)

5-HTP is made from the seeds of the plant, Griffonia Simplicifolia which grows in Africa. It has become a very popular natural supplement for depression as it is touted to increase the levels of serotonin in the body – just like medical-grade antidepressants do. There have been some clinical trials for the use of 5-HTP comparing it with medical grade antidepressants and is showing great promise.

In addition to treating depression, 5-HTP is also used as a natural alternative for:

  • Migraines
  • Assisting in Weight Loss by making you feel fuller
  • Hot Flashes for women going through Menopause
  • Insomnia
  • Fibromyalgia

Highest rated 5-HTP Supplements:

Horbaach 5-HTP

  • 400mg of 5-HTP per serving
  • 180 capsules
  • Ships from The United States
  • See Stockist

A non-GMO and gluten-free 5-HTP formula with 400mg of 5-HTP per serve.

Horbaach 5HTP 400mg | 180 Capsules | Huge Size & Max Potency | Non-GMO, Gluten Free | 5 Hydroxytryptophan Extra Strength Supplement

Dr Emil Nutrition 5-HTP Plus

  • 200mg of 5-HTP per serve
  • Over 17,000 positive reviews
  • 30 Day Supply
  • Ships from The United States
  • See Stockist

A 5-HTP enhanced formula with clinically proven serotonin synthesizers and also contains SAMe and L-Tryptophan. Includes B6 for improved serotonin conversion. All Dr Emil products are made from all-natural vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts without the use of harmful additives. Non-GMO and free of hormones and gluten. They were manufactured in the United States in a GMP certified laboratory.

| Stay at Home Mum.com.au

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Most of us know that we get our ‘good fats’ Omega 2 Fatty Acids from foods such as salmon. Fish Oil is so good for our brains, so it makes sense that Omega 3 Fatty Acids must be a natural alternative to antidepressants.

According to Harvard, depression appears less common in nations that consume a large amount of fish. Omega 3 Fatty Acids interact with the mood-related molecules in the brain and offer anti-inflammatory effects.

In addition to boosting mood and aiding in depression, it also boasts other health benefits:

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Dementia
  • Schizophrenia
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lessen the chance of sudden cardiac death in people with heart disease

A most popular brand of Omega 3 Fatty Acids:

Life Extension Super Omega-3 

  • 1000mg Cap X 400 per bottle
  • Over thousands of positive reviews
  • Softgel form
  • Ships from United States
  • See Stockist

The anchovy oil in Super Omega-3 is sourced from a marine-mammal-friendly fishery off the coast of Chile that is certified sustainable.

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DHEA

There are a lot of people out there that believe that balancing your hormones is the key to better health. Natural methods of balancing your hormones exist, but medications and supplements can also have a positive impact on your health and hormone levels.

As a hormone and supplement, DHEA can influence the levels of other hormones in your body. Potential benefits include bone density and weight loss as well as improved sexual function and correcting hormonal imbalances.

Possible Side Effects of DHEA

Taking DHEA orally, especially in high doses or for an extended period, carries the risk of toxic side effects. Not more than 50-100 mg per day or for a long time should be used for DHEA supplementation. Higher doses or long-term use can increase the risk of adverse reactions.

Here are other health benefits of DHEA in the human body:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fatigue
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Lupus
  • Menopausal symptoms

Natrol and Life Extension are among the most popular brands producing DHEA supplements.

Natrol DHEA Tablets

  • 25 mg of DHEA per tablet
  • 180 tablets per bottle
  • Tablet form and Vegetarian
  • With over 5,000 positive reviews
  • Ships from United States
  • See Stockist

Natrol DHEA supplements are vegetarian-friendly.

Natrol DHEA Tablets, Promotes Balanced Hormone Levels, Supports a Healthy Mood, Supports Overall Health, Helps Promote Healthy Aging, HPLC Verified, 25mg, 180 Count

Life Extension DHEA Supplemet

  • 100 mg, 60 Vegetarian Capsules
  • Non-GMO, Gluten-Free
  • Capsule Form
  • Ships from United States
  • See Stockist

Taking DHEA supplements enhances muscle mass and strength. It also has a positive effect on memory, mood, cognition, and general brain health.

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MethylPro

Approximately half of the American population may be unable to convert folate into its activated state. MethylPro is the leading nutraceutical line that contains l-methylfolate, which is the most advanced form for better outcomes.

Methylfolate is necessary for the synthesis of neurotransmitters that regulate mood, energy, sleep, and hormones. Folate cannot cross the blood-brain barrier unless it is in this form and that’s where MethylPro comes in.

No fillers or excipients such as bulking agents are used by MethylPro. Additional ingredients include only glycine (an amino acid). All of the ingredients in this product are safe for people with food allergies. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions when taking this medication.

  • 15 mg, 30 Capsules
  • Non-GMO + Gluten-Free with No Fillers
  • Capsule Form
  • With almost 2,000 positive reviews
  • Ships from the United States
  • See Stockist
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SAMe

SAMe is a naturally produced compound in the human body. It may have antidepressant and pain-killing properties because it stimulates the production of cartilage components. Osteoarthritis patients may benefit from taking SAMe, which has been shown to reduce functional limitations and pain. SAMe’s efficacy in the treatment of fibromyalgia suggests that it may be useful in reducing pain and depression.

Since SAMe naturally occurs in the body, numerous biochemical processes rely on it and the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. SAMe has been shown in laboratory studies to have some painkilling properties as well as to stimulate the production of collagen and proteoglycans, both of which are important cartilage building materials.

Caruso’s SAMe is one of the reliable brands out there.

Caruso’s SAMe Tab

  • 60 Tablets
  • Tablet Form
  • Free from: Sugar, dairy, lactose, gluten, wheat, yeast, starch, nuts, animal products and preservatives
  • Ships from AU
  • See Stockist

In addition to supporting healthy liver processes such as the natural detoxification process, Caruso’s SAMe helps maintain joint health, along with reducing mild arthritis and osteoarthritis symptoms like mild joint inflammation.

| Stay at Home Mum.com.au

Saffron

Saffron, the dried stigmas of Crocus sativus L., has been shown in various preclinical and clinical studies to have antidepressant and anti-anxiety characteristics. In particular, many clinical trials have demonstrated that saffron and its active constituents have antidepressant properties in comparison to that of existing antidepressant medications such as fluoxetine, imipramine, and citalopram, but with few or no reported side effects.

Other benefits may include:

  • Cancer Prevention
  • Memory Boosting
  • Insomnia
  • Prevents Loss of Vision
  • Skin Health

Saffron can also be taken as a supplement.

Organic Saffron Extract Capsules

  • 60 Vegan Capsules
  • With Antioxidant
  • Ships from the United States

Enhancing memory and eye health are just two of the additional benefits of GreenXtract’s Saffron Extract. When it comes to reaching your goals and improving your health and quality of life, Saffron is the supplement you need.

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Ginseng

Stress-induced immune response and hormonal imbalances are effectively controlled by ginseng, which helps keep the body in a state of homeostasis. Aside from alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression, Ginseng also protects against stress-related physical diseases.

Ginseng has been shown to effectively suppress stress, which is a major contributing factor to depression.  Depression, on the other hand, has been linked to memory loss. Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative brain diseases can be prevented with the help of ginseng. Depression may be prevented by the neuroprotective properties of ginseng and anxiety can be alleviated by improving one’s memory.

Other benefits may include:

  • Build immunity
  • Regulate blood sugar
  • Improve focus
  • Heart disease
  •  Fatigue
  •  Erectile dysfunction
  •  Hepatitis C
  •  High blood pressure
  • Menopausal symptoms

One of the well-known ginseng products in the market is:

NutriFlair Korean Red Panax Ginseng

  • 1500mg – 120 Vegan Capsules
  • Non-GMO
  • Almost 3,000 positive reviews
  • Ships from the United States
  • See Stockist

Panax Ginseng is a valuable herb that has been used for more than 2000 years in Korean medicine to help with cognitive function and energy levels, as well as drowsiness and fatigue management.

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Chamomile

For a variety of ailments, the daisy-like flower known as chamomile is an effective herbal remedy, from sleep disorders and depression to stomachaches and skin infections, to wound healing and diaper rashes.

Drinking chamomile tea has been found to help mitigate depression and sleep issues. Capsules, liquid extracts, tinctures, teas, and topical creams are just some of the many forms in which they can be obtained. Despite its well-deserved reputation as a sleep aid, the most substantial evidence suggests that chamomile may also be beneficial for depression.

There are many uses for chamomile, but it’s most commonly taken orally to treat sleep disorders, anxiety, and digestive problems. Also, it can be applied to the skin to alleviate skin conditions and aid in the healing of wounds. However, because chamomile hasn’t been studied extensively in humans, the evidence for any of these alleged benefits is weak.

Other benefits may include:

  • Eczema
  • Diabetes
  • Oral Health

Our top pick of the best Chamomile Tea:

Henry Blooms Botanical Tea Chamomile Tea

There are many varieties of chamomile, all of which originate from Europe and western Asia. Its action is both relaxing and calming, and it is considered to be a mild sedative. Not only do they have healing properties, but they’re also known for their pleasant aromas and flavours. 

When brewing tea, use a pot, an infuser, or a tea press, and steep for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how strong you want it. Add a squeeze of lemon or a drizzle of honey for an extra special treat.

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Lavender

Many antidepressant medications have a high rate of side effects. According to Traditional Persian literature, lavender is one of the most commonly used herbal medicines because of its ability to treat mental disorders and its less serious side effects.

As a classic or complementary remedy today, lavender is used for a variety of ailments, including physical discomforts like stomach upset and headaches, as well as emotional, distresses like insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

Lavender is typically used in the form of essential oil as part of aromatherapy. Adding three to five drops of essential oil to an ultrasonic aromatherapy diffuser is the most effective method of inhaling the scent. It is also possible to make a tea or a liquid extract out of dried lavender.

Other benefits may include:

  • Hair loss in a condition called alopecia areata
  • Canker sores
  • Pain after Cesarean section (C-section)

Our top pick of the best Lavander Essential Oil:

Artizen Lavender Essential Oil

  • 100% Pure Lavender Essential Oil

The purity and concentration of Artizen Essential Oils set them apart. Their oils are pure, unadulterated, and unrestrained in their ability to provide maximum benefit.

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Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea)

  • 500mg, 120 Vegan Capsules
  • Organic, Gluten Free, Non GMO, Vegan
  • See Stockist

Rhodiola is a herb that, when taken in supplement form, has been linked to a variety of potential health advantages. Improved stress response and decreased depressive symptoms are two examples of how these changes can benefit your overall well-being.

The herb’s antidepressant effects may be determined by improving nerve cell communication and reducing HPA axis overactivity. The HPA axis regulates your body’s response to stress. The HPA axis may play a role in the development of major depression, according to studies. Depression sufferers may benefit from taking Rhodiola as a supplement because it affects neurotransmitter receptors and molecular networks, possibly improving mood.

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NAC (N-acetylcysteine)

  • 1000 mg, 120 Tablets
  • Nut Free, GMO Free, Kosher Certified
  • See Stockist

Cysteine is a semi-essential amino acid, which means the body must function.  Since your body can synthesize it from other amino acids, such as methionine and serine, it is considered semi-essential. It only becomes necessary when the amount of methionine and serine in the diet is insufficient.

N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a form of cysteine that is taken as a supplement. The consumption of sufficient cysteine and NAC is significant for some health reasons, such as the replenishment of glutathione— the body’s most potent antioxidant. These amino acids also aid in the treatment of chronic respiratory conditions, fertility, and brain health.

Possible Side Effects:

When administered as a prescription medication, NAC is most likely safe for adults. On the other hand, high doses may bring on symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation in some people. Inhalation can cause a runny nose, drowsiness, and tightness in the chest.

| Stay at Home Mum.com.au

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a vital nutrient that performs a variety of essential functions for your body. Unfortunately, many people, including those who suffer from depression, do not have adequate levels of vitamin D.

A study found that people with depression were more likely to be deficient in vitamin D than those without the condition. Depressed people have lower vitamin D levels than the overall population, and those with the barest minimum tend to have the most severe symptoms.

Many mechanisms, including inflammation reduction, mood regulation, and protection against neurocognitive dysfunction, have been proposed for vitamin D’s ability to combat depression.

One of the most well-reviewed Vitamin D from Amazon:

NatureWise Vitamin D3 5000iu

Vitamin D3 from NatureWise in certified organic olive oil helps to maintain healthy teeth and bones, boosts the immune system, and promotes healthy muscle function.

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And These Are The 13 Natural Alternatives to Antidepressants

Millions of people around the world suffer from depression. Even though medication and therapy are the most common forms of treatment for depression, several people may prefer to experiment with less harmful approaches like dietary changes or nutritional supplements.

Some of the supplements discussed in this article are effective in treating depression and may be suitable for those who suffer from it. More research needs to be done to draw firm conclusions about the effectiveness of these medications on depression.

When considering a supplement, it is critical to seek medical advice to ensure that it is safe for you and meets your health and safety requirements.

About Author

Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu...Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015's Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody's voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

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